Tipperary exhibition is Justyna's dream come true

'Clonmel is my Irish home'

Clonmel Exhibition

Justyna's photographs will be on display in Clonmel

Justyna Kielbowicz came to Ireland over 13 years ago, as part of the first wave of Polish people to move here following the work opportunities provided by accession to the EU.

When the owner of a Clonmel hotel came to her catering college, she interviewed for a position and moved to Ireland.

She worked in several different part-time jobs before meeting David Teevan, then director of Clonmel Junction Festival. She did some volunteering jobs including box office, bought a cheap camera and began to photograph absolutely everything.

"In Poland, I painted a little bit and was always intrigued by art," Justyna explains.

"I loved visiting museums and galleries. It was when I got a digital camera that the obsession really began".

She started to win photography awards and was encouraged to apply to DIT for their BA in Photography.

"DIT was an absolutely amazing experience, I'd recommend it to anyone", says Justyna.

"It enabled me to develop my own ideas – I never felt directed in certain ways. I could always express myself while being nicely guided by tutors".

Justyna graduated last year and was selected for the inaugural RDS Visual Art Awards Exhibition, curated by Alice Maher, which showed the very best and most exciting work coming out of Ireland’s art colleges in 2016.

"It was a wonderful opportunity and a real honour to be chosen as one of 13 best artists in Ireland and Northern Ireland", she says.

As the first recipient of A4 Sounds Gallery DIT Graduate Award, which was established in 2016 to support the practice and professional development of an outstanding emerging artist from the Dublin School of Creative Arts and Media, Justyna was included in the programme for the PhotoIreland Festival 2017.

After these successes, Justyna is happy to bring the exhibition 'Dr. Nadia Kelbova' to Clonmel, where it is now showing at the South Tipperary Arts Centre in Nelson Street until Sunday week, September 3rd.

"My adventures in art began in Clonmel", says Justyna.

"As a young person, I looked in the windows of the Arts Centre and dreamed of exhibiting in such a gallery. Clonmel is my Irish home. Whenever I come back, I feel at home here.

"I’m delighted to show my work to the fantastic people that I met in Clonmel who helped me understand and get to know Ireland".

Her sister, Kate Kielbowicz, has lived in Clonmel for the last 12 years.

The exhibition uses a mixture of scientific experimentation and performance, interwoven with humour, which forms the key elements of the project. The aim of this work is to investigate the intoxicating authority of the photograph itself and to draw attention to the dangers of credulity.

Tanya Kiang, director of the Gallery of Photography, opened the exhibition and praised Justyna's art project, describing it as "diverse and engaging".

"It shows that conceptually-based art can be fun. It’s very intriguing, with a dark undertow and a sense of humour", she said.

She also complimented South Tipperary Arts Centre, which she described as "one of the most beautiful arts centres in all of Ireland, with a dynamic programme".

The Arts Centre is open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

Call 052-6127877 or e-mail info@southtippartscentre.ie for more details.